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AutoSuccess Jun03


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AutoSuccess addresses the specific, researched needs of new car and light truck dealerships by providing entrepreneurial, cutting-edge, solution-based editorials to increase dealership profits and reduce expenses

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AutoSuccess Jun03

  1. 1. United We Stand .biz June 2003Mark StrongIntroducing the FirstCustomer Management System People Still Love to Negotiate A Successful Automotive Professional: The Daily Schedule Emulating Success How to Become a Successful Negotiator
  2. 2. manager INSIDE driventeam operation uccessrevenue automobil 4 People Still Love to Negotiate solutions Mark Tewart 6 How to Become a Successful Negotiator Joe Verde 8 A Successful Automotive Professional: The Daily Schedule profitprofessional Kim Langham 9 Dealership’s Image: Its Effects on Recruiting Terry L. Isaac 10 Choosing the Right Showroom sales Traffic and CRM Solution Robert C. Gruen 12 How to Clone Your Best People Pam Holloway 14 Emulating Success Timothy Gilbert 15 What You Need in the Detail Department Kevin Farrell 16 Introducing the First Customer Management System Mark Strong 18 Tool Reimbursement Programs: They Can Help Your Dealership Thomas Lower II 20 Double & Triple Your Output Using Your Time Wisely Brian Tracy 21 Sales From the Internet: Why Doesn’t My Website Work, Part 3 Dennis McDonough 22 Call to Action: Create Customer Demand Joe Courrege 24 Best Practice #3 & #4: Knowledge is Power Jay Betz 25 Experienced or Inexperienced - That is the Question Glen Crawford If You Need Service Solutions, Ask a Pro Don Reed 26 Prepaid Maintenance Contracts: Build Loyalty, Customer Satisfaction and Profitability Dan McNellis 27 Presentation is Everything David Thomas 28 Overcoming Objections Tom Joseph 30 What a Manager Does Fran Taylor inventory Patrick Luck, Publisher Success Driven Solutions • Susan Goodman, VP of Operations • Knight Miller, VP of Marketing • 756 South 1st Street, Suite 202 Lindsay Porter, Copy Editor Louisville, Kentucky 40202 • Amy Stuber, Advertising Services Mgr. • Toll Free: 877.818.6620 Amelia Ellenstien, Advertising Services Facsimile: 502.588.3170 • dealer God Bless America Web: Thomas Williams, Creative Director • thomas@autosuccess.bizAutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 756 South First Street, Suite 202, Louisville, Kentucky, 40202; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 Subscription rate is $75 per year. AutoSuccess welcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible for their return). All submitted editorialsand graphics are subject to editing for grammar, content, and page length. AutoSuccess provides its contributing writers latitude in expressing advice and solutions; viewsexpressed are not necessarily those of AutoSuccess and by no means reflect any guarantees. Always confer with legal counsel before implementing changes in procedures.© All contents copyrighted by AutoSuccess Magazine, a Division of Systems Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent from AutoSuccess. AutoSuccessmay occasionally make readers’ names available to other companies whose products and/or services may be of interest; readers may request that names be removed by calling 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA.Postmaster: Send address changes to AutoSuccess Magazine, 756 South First Street, Suite 202, Louisville, Kentucky 40202.
  3. 3. sales and training solution Mark Tewart By Mark Tewart People Still Love to Negotiate Many times people the ‘higher authority principle’ of process can eliminate different managers say they don’t negotiating. In other words, they dislike from working proposals in completely like to negotiate; an improperly used desk system. You different directions that confuse sales yet, they still shop can still use a desk system, but you can people. Sales people should know how around and never decrease the back and forth, and keep the to handle any and all objections, verbally pay full MSRP. customer from feeling manipulated. and written, without having to think orMost people act in their own best interest. blink.And most people who say they don’t like The first step is to have a written processnegotiating, actually still want to. that everyone understands. The second Sales people often give a proposal and step is to make the process the same for when a customer objects, their first replyThere are three things you should always each manager and each deal every time. is, “Mr. Customer, what figures wherelisten to in this business: The third step is to train your sales people you thinking?” Unfortunately, it may how to negotiate, handle objections and be the worst thing that could be said1. What people say. to a customer. Asking a customer what2. What people are trying to say. assist the buyer to finalize a buying decision. they are thinking without verifying and3. What they really mean. validating why you asked for what youOften, what people are saying is they A written, detailed negotiating process that proposed, will bring an uneasy feeling‘hate’ to negotiate. What people are all sales people and managers understand to the buyer and usually result in one oftrying to say is they could do without the is essential. Many dealerships seem to two answers, both of which aren’t good.way auto dealers negotiate and what they operate by the seat of their pants when The buyer will usually respond with areally mean is they don’t want to make a dealing with the negotiating process. All low-ball offer or say, “You’re the salesmistake. proposals should be started in the same person, you tell me.” In this example, a fashion. Although each deal can vary sales person has violated simple rules ofWhen people say they don’t like to differently as you begin to negotiate, they negotiating by asking the customer to setnegotiate, they are trying to say they should all start the same way to eliminate the bottom parameter of the negotiations.don’t like the feelings of manipulation emotional, bad decisions. Having a This usually will create a shopper fromthat occur when auto dealers overuse precise, written and clearly understood a potential buyer, because they can no longer have confidence that they have reached their best and lowest possible deal. Confidence creates the feeling PROFIT...FROM of ‘hope for gain’ and eliminates the emotional fear of making a mistake. YOUR When a customer asks for a lower price, the sales person must validate the MSRP ARCHITECTURE by explaining the value pricing policy. “Mr. Customer, the vehicles are value priced today, which means they have Over 300 new and renovated a much smaller and more reasonable dealerships designed across markup than in the past, to eliminate the USA and Canada back and forth and bring a more realistic pricing value to the customer.” If the On-site Facility Design customer persists for discounts, you Surveying can offer the potential of an additional Feasibility Studies percentage discount on the optional Inclusive Design Meetings with equipment of the vehicle. This validates management team your MSRP proposal and allows the customer to have feelings of victory by Increased CSI scores and profit gaining a concession while establishing per transaction the bottom parameter of negotiations. Consulting to local architects and All customers are looking to satisfy certain emotions. Knowing how to contractors professionally negotiate can satisfy Design - Build all the emotions a customer desires Services and eliminate the negative feelings of a praxis3 company manipulation that are prevalent when many customers leave a dealership after 800.795.1555 a negotiating process. Mark Tewart is the President of Tewart Enterprises. He can be contacted at 888.283.9278, or by email at 4
  4. 4. Profitcenter – ™ Your One Solution• Simultaneous A-B Pencils • Instantaneous Deal Structuring• Used Vehicle Auction Values • On-the-fly Reports Designer• Complete Lead Management • Instant Up Cards• Workflow Designer • Customer Follow Up No Other System Can Do It! Only From (800) MKT-SCAN x2012 31416 Agoura Road • Suite 110 • Westlake Village, CA 91361
  5. 5. sales and training solution Joe Verde By Joe Verde How To Become A Successful Negotiator Negotiation is part a solid case in every area of selling (the qualify your customers once you have of the entire selling ‘Basics’) and when you get to the final them committed to owning the vehicle. process … it is not steps regarding price, payments, etc., you Your only job in sales is to ‘investigate’ to just the final step. really need to have developed a strong find their driving wants and needs so you case as to why accepting your offer can make a value building presentation.First, you need to understand that (price/terms) would benefit them morenegotiation is a process, not a step. One than you. In case you weren’t aware, you’ve begunbig problem with negotiation (last step) your negotiation when you ask or that almost every dealership does this That’s why Ben Franklin, America’s first • How much did you want to spend?step differently than the dealership next self-made millionaire, said that to be • What’s your budget?door or across town. successful in a negotiation, you have to • What kind of payments do you cover what you’re offering (the feature) want?Negotiation has been around since and give the other party the advantages • We can save you hundreds...the Stone Age and has always been a and benefits of doing things your way and • What do you want for your trade?part of the buying and selling process. that you have to create a win/win for both • How much can you put down?Some people wouldn’t agree with that your dealership and the customer. • We’re asking...or...we’re dealing.statement today, though, if they’re in a • The price is negotiable on dealership that really doesn’t Some common mistakes sales people and • Don’t worry, we never missed athink they negotiate anything. managers make in negotiating. deal because of price.Since ‘negotiate’ means ‘to come to terms’ Problem: My manager just said find a buyer, and… that means it applies to everything in You start negotiating too soon. we’ll make you a deal you can’t refuse.the selling process, not just the price. Price negotiation begins as soon as theThe negotiation can be about price or first dollar figure hits the conversation. So, Worse yet, the person who sets thethe payments or what you’re paying for answer this, should you start negotiating first figures has the advantage in thetheir trade, and it’s certainly about value. price, trades, rates, payments, terms… negotiation. That’s why you can’t ask,Other things that are negotiated: price vs. “What do you want to spend?” They givevalue … value to me vs. my payment … before you build the value in you a figure that’s unrealistically lowvalue of my trade vs. what I thought it owning the product – or – (advantage to the customer), and nowwas worth … value of buying from this after you build the value of you’re on the defensive.dealership today … value of buying from owning the product, from you / youryou instead of the sales person down the dealership? The solution: Learn howstreet, and much more. to bypass price and build value Þrst. You should wait until after the value is You can’t build value and talk price atIn fact, almost every part of the sales established to talk about anything that has the same time. And to avoid price, so youprocess is a minor negotiation within to do with money. But talking price first can work on value, you have to learn toitself. Even the first two minutes you’re is what almost every sales person does on bypass all price conversations so you canwith a customer is a negotiation, because the lot before any value is established, spend your time focusing on the features,you’re trying to come to terms on you simply because the customer asked about advantages and benefits to the customer.being the sales person they want to deal the price. Sales people don’t know how to Once you learn how, bypassing all pricewith on this $25,000 purchase. To do that, respond to price questions and objections questions is so simple, so effective andyou have to get them to like you, trust you to effectively bypass them, and that means so accepted by the customer, you won’tand feel comfortable working with you, the negotiation has begun too soon…and believe you wasted all those years and alland that’s what the first two steps of that means you lose sales more often that those lost sales trying to sell ‘price’ first.selling are designed to accomplish … if you make them. Your current score: winyou do it right. On the other hand, if you one or two, lose six or seven. Problem: Sales people don’t listen.dress like the clerk in a hardware store, Your customers will and, in fact, do tellcasually swagger towards the prospect Negotiating before the value is established you everything you need to know to notwith your hands in your pockets, your is a straight road to no sale. That’s why only sell them the vehicle, but to alsosunglasses on and pop a greeting like, of the eight out of ten customers who negotiate a successful settlement for you“Can I help you?”… you’ve just lost this specifically came to buy and will buy and for them – if you’d just listen.step of the negotiation, because you did … the average sales person ends up withnot come to the terms required in creating only one or two sales at the most of those We talk about investigating before youan effective first impression that is critical eight deliveries they could have had. make a presentation so you know whatto your sale. to cover in your presentation. But that’s What are the errors? One is confusing just part of the reason you continuallySuccessful negotiators have learned that ‘qualifying’ with ‘investigating’. Your investigate. The other reason is becauseto negotiate and win, you have to present sales and finance managers and the banks continued on page 29 6
  6. 6. sales and training solution Kim Langham By Kim Langham A Successful Automotive Professional: The Daily Schedule Kim Langham is a wish list in my planner. I also track I know exactly what I am going to do the top sales person how many cars that I have sold and how when I get there, and I am constantly at Jim Schmidt much money I have made; this keeps me doing proactive things. Chevrolet. She was focused; I know where I am and where #1 in volume sales I need to be at the end of each month. When you are a sales person, it is in the Toledo zone Then, if there is a slow time, I look back obvious that things will change duringlast year. Kim averages 30 cars a month at my old planners; I might see a name the course of your day. A problemand has a CSI rating of 3.92. She works that relates to a sale or rebate we have, may arise that needs to be addressedmainly on referrals and repeats alone and and that gives me an idea for a sale. Many immediately; you may have a walk-only takes one or two (at most) fresh ups times, this results in sales that I would in, etc. However, it is still extremelya month. She has been in the business for have never even thought of. If I didn’t important to have a plan for your day.12 years, and said that it only takes about use my daily planner, I guarantee that I The first thing that I do when I get tofour years and hard work to become wouldn’t sell half as many cars as I do. I work is check my phone messagesestablished. Kim is an outstanding sales go through my planner all of the time. and my delivery schedule. I then go toperson with the knowledge it takes to cleanup and check to make sure therebecome successful. The first four or five years of my career are no problems and that everything is I worked 60 to 65 hours a week, bell to ready for delivery. I gas my cars (if theyIn the grand scheme of being a successful bell. Now, I get to work around 9:15 need it) and get them completely ready.automotive professional, organization and work about 50 hours per week. I get After that, I go with the flow. If I haveis everything. I have a daily planner, up early in the morning work out and down time, I’m sending thank you andwhich is a must for all professional take care of my personal business. This birthday cards, I’m making phone calls,sales people. I write down all my phone way when I get to work, I have nothing and I’m looking through my planner tocalls, appointments, prospects and keep to do or worry about other than work. see if there is anyone that I can sell a car to. I go to work to work. I am not going to waste my time and not make any money. Sitting and talking with co- workers is not an option. It looks bad and doesn’t help your sales. If you want to sit with a customer and talk that isn’t a problem, it is proactive and could help in having repeats and referrals. I handle my customers as they come in during the day. If there are four of them Pick Your Zips! in at a time, I work them all. I never let anyone sit. There will be days that you don’t sit down for six hours or more, but that is how you sell cars. One of the most important things to remember Custom catalogs 12 ¢ about your customers is, they are, truly, to advertise always right. Even if my customer seems to be saying something off the wall or your dealership incorrect, if it is an issue for them, then it Get every household in your is an issue for me. Again, this is another market area and put it in the way to create a customer for life. mailbox for 12 cents or less!! If you work hard, don’t waste time $ 11,900 100,000 and treat your customer’s right, you 8-page catalogs designed, composed, printed will increase your sales dramatically. and distributed via US Mail Having a daily planner is imperative, gets you: (or newspaper inserts*) Completely Turn Key like I said, if I didn’t use mine, my sales wouldn’t be nearly what they are. Every 8-page catalogs are equal to the image area of 2 full pages of display advertising. Great way to advertise your seasonal events! Promote that big tent sale! professional sales person needs a plan. Our 8-pager will hold over 100 photographs and car descriptions Remember, all of the truly successful including price, lease, payments and all options! Great for new cars and factory incentives - Fantastic for used inventory!!! sales people are doing the same things. Call 1-888-530-9196 Kim Langham is a Sales Associate at Jim Schmidt Chevrolet. She can be Specializing in Automotive Advertising Catalogs since 1991 contacted at 419.542.7731, or by email at 8
  7. 7. sales and training solution Terry L. Isaac By Terry L. Isaac Dealership’s Image: Its Effects on Recruiting It is a known top talent. Recruits now want to make this profession. Have success stories of people fact that some business their career. Ways to overcome who have achieved great success with customers have the negative image new recruits have of the your dealership. Offer training (without a negative image automotive industry will require change in offering paid training most people do not of dealerships. the way you advertise for employees. The consider this business). Part of the negative This could stem newspaper will only catch the eye of the image is that we don’t offer professionalfrom past buying experiences. We are average or less than average. Job fairs are training and that we’ll hire anybody outcontinuously working on improving our a good way to sell the job to top recruits. there (which is true of a lot of dealershipsimage with the customer. We do this Yes, sell them. It is a sales job. today). Send your top, most professionalby creating new showrooms with less person in your sales department, becauseintimidating settings such as: changing When you sell a vehicle the sale only takes tens will attract tens, and twos will attractmanager towers to offices, opening floors place when you are face-to-face. During twos. If you take a two and train them, thewith tables instead of stall type offices, this time you sell yourself, the features and most you will have is a four. You needeven putting in fireplaces, all in the effort benefits, and why they should do business tens. Overcoming your image is a constantto make the customer more comfortable. with your dealership. In the process, you challenge; you will have to endure as youA comfortable customer is a workable have to overcome the negative image they move into the future. Your efforts willcustomer. may have of you and your dealership. improve your image and your importance There are a lot of similarities in recruiting to the automotive industry.However, we also have to take into top talent; you have to sell them onconsideration the image we have with job yourself, show how much you love this Terry L. Isaac is the Corporate Salesseekers. Remember, the customer we sell business and what a great opportunity Trainer for the Neil Huffman Autotoday, could also be the employee we try it is for them. At a job fair, make sure to Group. He can be contacted by email atto recruit tomorrow. Most people in the show them the benefits of being in this business got into it becausethey didn’t get the job they wanted orare using it to ‘hold them over’ untilanother opportunity opens up for them.There are not too many people who growup telling their parents, “I want to be a STOP WASTING PROFITS! If your dealership is not using a tool reimbursement program,car sales person.” Of every class at ourdealership, at least 90 percent of them say then you are wasting proÞts and your employees are notthat someone has said something negative receiving as much take-home pay as they could be.about the career that they have chosen.There have been several surveys done onthis profession, with car sales people at thebottom of the list of careers.Sales people have to overcome thenegative image customers have of them,it is no different with recruiting. Do youever wonder why your dealership is notbeing considered by college graduatesor talented sales professionals? The Implementing an Accountable Plan will:automotive industry offers some of the • Increase proÞts for the dealershipbest paying jobs in the country, and yet is • Increase employee take-home paystill not looked at as a good opportunity. • Increase employee retention and loyaltyWhen you look at how much the economy • No out of pocket costsdepends on the automotive industry to • Fees taken from savings created on the programfuel economic growth, the fact is, asthe automotive industry goes, so goes The Pro-Check Accountable Planthe economy. Think about it this way,if you don’t move the vehicles out of is a GUARANTEED win-win! “Using the Pro-Check program will decrease company expenses and increase take-the showrooms, the orders stop and the home pay. The Pro-Check program should be used by all companies that requiremanufacturers slow down to a crawl. employees to bring their own tools and equipment to the job. As a CPA, I would recommend the Pro-Check program to all of my clients.” - Mark Heinen, CPA 877.385.4227It takes a well-skilled professional salesforce in today’s competitive market tohave a successful dealership. In order toachieve this goal, you have to start with prochecknational.comjune 2003 9
  8. 8. crm solution Robert C. Gruen By Robert C. Gruen Choosing the Right Showroom Traffic and CRM Solution Who’s in the choose should be customized to work Results of driver’s seat at with the successful processes and choosing the right system. your dealership, business rules you have in place. Improved opportunities–Increases of management, over 250 percent in logged, in-store sales people, The system should incorporate your ups are not uncommon. customers? While customized forms and worksheets,on the surface it may appear that they which add to the professionalism andwould steer the dealership in different uniqueness of your store.directions, their respective demandscan be met by implementing the right Customized lead follow-ups specificshowroom traffic, customer relationship to each prospect are essential. Fewand lead management system. prospects respond to generic e-mails and letters.The right system for your dealershipwill prove to be a money-making tool Training and support.for your sales people and the dealership. Your vendor should provide in-storeHow do you find the system that startup and ongoing training. This Graph 1: Logged In-store Upswill give you the management tools ongoing training will ensure your Improved lease retention andnecessary to manage your sales people staff’s continual use of the system. sales–Dealers have experienced leasewhile allowing them to embrace the retention and sales volume increasesobjective of your processes? How do Free product updates and of up to 30 percent. The chart belowyou find a system that will not only enhancements should be included is an example of what happenedsupport your unique processes, but also as part of any software maintenance to a dealership after successfullyrequire accountability for compliance fee. implementing a showroom traffic andwith those processes? CRM solution in their store. They The vendor should offer technical became the largest growth dealershipIn the fast-paced, ever-changing support 24 hours a day, 7 days a in their area during 2001 by retainingautomobile marketplace, dealers need week. There will come a weekend or more prospects and lease capture every sales opportunity. evening when everything will appearThey need a system that embraces their to go wrong. Give yourself peace ofunique sales processes and requires mind knowing that support is alwaysaccountability from managers and sales available. Note Increased Sales Volume after CRMpeople to help keep customers coming Installationback. Avoid the mistakes of others and Integration.consider the points in the following The system should integrate andchecklist when shopping for the right function with other solution providersshowroom traffic, customer relationship currently in your dealership.and lead management system for yourdealership: The system should use your existing PCs and networks—adding Employee buy-in. proprietary hardware is inefficient. Graph 2: Sales Volume Growth Involve management and sales Improved CSI (Customer Satisfaction people in the shopping process Clarity and accountability. Index)–Tracking sales associates’ and from the onset. Give them a sense Reports and functions should allow managers’ follow-ups through the phone of ownership in a system they will your management staff to quickly system has shown a two-fold increase be using to help run the store and identify areas of weakness so that in CSI. If you can validate that calls are generate more sales. they can be rectified in real time. actually being made, you can guarantee You cannot manage what you cannot improvement in CSI. A user-friendly interface and measure. maintenance-free operation is Carefully consider the points in the essential. Your sales people should The system should track all in- above checklist before choosing a not need computer experience to store e-mail, phone-up and follow- showroom traffic, customer relationship effectively use the system. up activities on one customer and lead management system. Doing screen. A real-time desk log with this will help ensure that you achieve Customization. desking functionality is a must for accountability for your entire sales, Consider the current successful managers. prospecting, trade-cycle and owner processes you have in place at your follow-up processes. This, in turn, will store. Whatever is working well Reliability. guarantee that you sell more cars. needs to be integrated seamlessly Check a vendor’s references—talk into your new automated system. to dealers and staff in management Robert C. Gruen is the President & CEO Whatever’s not working needs to be and sales. Don’t simply use a few of The Higher Gear Group, Inc. He reviewed and discussed with your select references. Request a complete can be contacted at 847.843.6800, or by potential vendor. The system you customer list. email at 10
  9. 9. june 2003
  10. 10. sales and training solution Pam Holloway By Pam Holloway How to Clone Your Best People Moderately Now that you have this information, you need to hire people who naturally and successful business have a head start on what to look for automatically embrace procedures. You owners and when you begin to interview new sales need to hire people who will not vary managers know who people. You simply look for people with from that procedure. But, if you know their top performers those specific qualities. what to listen for, you’ll recognize it in are. Highly the language when your applicant talks.successful owners and managers have The challenging part.learned how to clone those top performers. How do you identify the common traits? Here’s how to use the LAB profile That’s the challenging part, and it requires to create a profile. Interview the topWhether it’s sales people, office staff or a tool. Again, the choice is yours. You can performers in a specific job, askingservice technicians, did you ever say, spend literally millions and get a highly eight to ten conversational questions“If only I had more people like Bob, the effective, high-tech tool. Or, you can that enable you to determine their valuesentire department would operate in the spend mere thousands and get a highly and how their minds work. What youblack.” And, chances are that’s correct. effective, low-tech tool. What makes actually identify is called a ‘mentalThe question is, exactly how can you this so challenging is that there are a lot filter configuration’. That configurationclone your best people? How can you of choices. You probably already know becomes a template or map to identifyadd more black ink to your bottom line about the many variations of personality your next superstars. Then, use thoseby hiring better people? tests and behavioral assessments. same eight to ten questions to interview Chances are, you’ve also discovered lots job candidates. You can immediately seeYou have two basic choices: of variation in the quality and validity of how closely a candidate’s mental filter those personality tools. configuration matches those of your top 1. high-tech and expensive performers. The closer they are to the 2. low-tech and affordable To make matters worse, most assessment template, the better they will perform. processes tend to employ tunnel-vision The farther they are from the template,You most likely want low-tech and - they focus on assessing the applicant the more money they will cost you.affordable. This means you’ll take more within a vacuum. They don’t take timeof a hands-on approach. to understand the job and the success It’s a low-tech, practical and amazingly criteria. It is common sense to know effective approach. The important thingFirst, identify your top performers (in a what you’re looking for before you start is not so much what tool you use justspecific job). Take sales as an example. looking. Unless your tool can help you that you look at the characteristics of star address the job and success within your performers and use those as your guideSecond, recognize how your top sales culture, you could easily end up with an for hiring.performers do what they do. In particular, excellent performer who hates showingyou look for the common qualities and up for work. Use the right language tocompetencies among your star sales attract exactly the people you want.people. In addition, if you’re not careful, you Once you identify the specific could easily end up assessing all the characteristics you’re looking forThird, build a profile of those qualities wrong things, and not even know it. in a candidate, you can then use theand competencies. You can use a few You could chew up a lot of time and appropriate language in your recruitingconversational questions to get key expense and get very little return on your ads to attract more of the people who fitinformation from top performers. Say investment. Be cautious when selecting the profile. For example, if you know thatyou discover that your top sales people the tool. Unless you employ 30,000 your best sales people are competitive,possess five common qualities and people, keep it simple and low-tech. you might include language like “Docompetencies: you want to be the top sales person in A perfectly logical solution. your region?” or “Are you driven toProactive – tends toward direct action win?” If you want to attract a person whorather than thinking about things. One tool that contains everything you probably want (low-tech, affordable, is proactive, you would use proactivePersuasive – good at building rapport, highly effective) is the language and language, in other words, short, activeleading, influencing. behavior (LAB) profile. LAB profiling is sentences. For example: “Want to take based on the scientifically valid concept control?” “Want to get the job done?”Competitive – invigorated by “Like to Win?”competition, likes to win. that people’s language gives you a direct link to their behavior. If you listenPositive – always on the lookout for the carefully to the words someone uses, youpositive in any situation. can understand how his/her mind works. Pam Holloway is the Co-founder and Here’s how it would work for you. If CEO of AboutPeople Training andSocial – invigorated by social you teach your sales people to follow Consulting Firm. She can be contactedinteraction. a specific sales process, you absolutely by email at 12
  11. 11. sales and training solution Timothy Gilbert By Timothy Gilbert Emulating Success On most any sales Do any of these sound familiar? Most successful. That’s how you learn to do force there will, are just rationalizations or blame- a task you have never tried before. If almost always, be shifters. Average or poor sales people you model great and successful people those sales people tend to think that it’s the customer’s you can learn their techniques and that sell less than fault or management’s fault. It certainly attitudes for success; and take those the average, those cannot be their fault. The truth is that successful ideas back with you. Makethat sell just the average and those that when someone falls into the trap of sure that the ideas are realistic for you.excel beyond the average. Interestingly, believing one or more of these excuses, Set goals for yourself that are aggressivemost sales people fall into the ‘average’ they stop their chances at becoming a but achievable, and then build on them.category, probably because poor sales real success. Create a new positive attitude forpeople leave the business and star sales yourself and your selling techniques.people are rare. Many times sales people The reasons why sales people develop Use new, powerful and positive ideas tojust can’t get over that ten-unit hump. these negative attitudes are that they sell your customers. Build up a languageThey work hard, demo every customer have seen them happen. It’s true, of positive actions and ideas – replaceyet still can’t crack that barrier. If you some customers resist a sales pitch, the, “It can’t be done,” with “I’ve seen itare in this category, don’t let it ruin the management has restructured bad deals, done, and I can do it too.”business for you. Don’t pack up and sales people do get assistance fromquit. You can get over the hump. management (that’s what they are there Another key is to reinforce success in for), sometimes sales people lose deals the minds of customers as well. LiveIn order to achieve this you have to that they felt they should have made, and their emotions with them. Remember,change your attitude about selling. Here many times customers do not qualify for how excited you were when you boughtare some of the negative attitudes about the car loan. But those situations do not a new car. Their new car is exciting toselling: always happen. Because they have seen them too. Be excited for them, as if you it and probably heard others talking were buying your dream car. Reliving • All customers have built-in about them, they begin to believe them. the excitement in your mind helps you resistance to car sales people; relate to the customer and plants a seed • Management tries to find ways Instead of listening to these negative of excitement in their minds as well. to nix a sale and sales people have career breakers, try the following things: A successful and stimulating purchase to work extra hard just to convince experience will lead to future sales. management to keep a deal; • Talk to successful sales Success builds on success. • Those sales people that sell so professionals. Find out what made many units are getting help from them successful - and copy them. If Key points to remember: management; they can be successful so can you. 1. Reinforce only positive habits and • I’m never going to get any better • Stop taking negative attitudes to ideas. Stop believing in mediocrity at selling; the sales floor; your customers will or that others have control of your • I could sell more units if see them and respond negatively destiny. management would just do a better to them. Instead, take positive, 2. Find someone who has been job of advertising the products; or successful ones when you greet the successful and emulate them. Take -Too many of the ups that I get are next customer. their ideas and techniques for just deadbeats who can’t qualify for success and use them to help achieve a loan; they are ruining my chances People that want to be successful your own success. to sell more cars. emulate those that are already 3. Find a good fit for you. Some people may not be perfect models for you. 4. Build up a language of success to replace the mental images of rationalization and limitation. 5. Live the sale as if it were your own; be excited for the customer. 6. Plant the seeds of success in the customer’s mind as well. Success builds on success. Timothy Gilbert is an Associate Professor and Chairman of the Automotive Marketing Department at Northwood University Florida Campus. He can be contacted at 561.478.5527, or by email at 14
  12. 12. marketing solution Kevin Farrell By Kevin Farrell What You Need in the Detail Department There are many sides of a vehicle. Having only lights the vehicle. new and interesting mounted high on the ceiling simply will products and not do. If the vehicle is lit correctly, the If you are willing to spend a little more equipment out now combination of these types of lighting money, use an electronic paint thickness that exhibitors have will show imperfections that most natural gage to correctly measure the paint film. to sell. Even in the light will not. If your detailers can make There should also be a lift in every detaildetailing field there are fancy ‘gadgets’ the vehicles look spectacular under these bay so the detailer is able to see the sidesand ‘gizmos’ that may seem to make life lighting conditions; the cars will look even of the vehicle better, and it will save wear,easier. Some companies will even claim more brilliant when brought outside. tear and fatigue of the detailer.that the fancy equipment will improve adetailer’s skill. Here is the straight scoop Equipment. Bottom line.on what you may need and how your shop The truth is you do not need a lot of If you set up your detail shop correctly,should be set up to ensure your money is fancy equipment and gadgets to correctly and give the detailers the neededwell spent. detail vehicles. Of course, some things equipment, while staying away from the are mandatory such as: compressed air, expensive and needless gadgets, the shopShop size. vacuums, carpet extractors, high speed will be more efficient and profitable. OfHaving enough room to work is one of the buffers, orbital buffers, a large selection course, training your detail staff is a keymost important things to consider when of the correct buffing pads, towels and element for spectacular looking vehiclesbuilding or setting up your detail area. A chemicals to make all of the cars look like and the highest profits.good rule of thumb is to have each bay new. However, these items are cheap asat least 15 feet wide and 25 feet deep. A far as shop equipment goes. In your wash Kevin Farrell is the Owner of Kleendetailer needs to be able to fully open up bay, you will need a pressure washer (hot Car Auto Appearance. He can bethe doors on each side of the vehicle and water preferred) a selection of brushes, contacted at 888.302.6400, or visitstill be able to pass by without bumping wash mitts and chamois to wash and dry the wall. This allows for a vacuumor carpet extractor to be rolled around,and lets the detailer step back to viewthe side of the vehicle to ensure that allimperfections and blemishes have beenremoved. The total square footage of theshop can be determined by answering afew of these questions: The Architects dedicated to serving the needs of automobile dealers. • How many cars do you plan to work on simultaneously? • How many detailers will be working in the department? “ We had the good fortune to work with • Will service washes be done by the David Sova [of Car Store Design] he detailers, and how many wash bays provided not only top ideas in design but will you need? professional treatment and accountability. • How will the shop be configured?You never want to move cars around that Dane Gouge, General Managerare being worked on to get another car in Astoria Ford Hyundaior out. Many dealership detail departments Astoria, ORare cramped and poorly laid out, whichwill affect overall performance, efficiencyand the quality of work.Lighting.Along with having enough room to work,another very important thing to have in thedetail shop is the correct lighting and plenty Car Store Design is a full-service Design + Architecture practiceof it. The most skilled and knowledgeable based in Seattle and Ft. Lauderdale. To learn more call David atdetailer will miss imperfections if he/she 206. 567. 5460, email us at,can’t see them. A combination of metal or visit our web site, www. ca r storede sig and fluorescent lighting is the keyto illuminating a vehicle correctly. Youneed lights mounted on the front andside walls to properly direct light to thejune 2003 15 13
  13. 13. feature solution By Mark Strong The next generation Sales & M Ma Customer relations • Plus dozens of other valuable to-day basis. The difference is that the management features. information is updated automatically, in programs are real time. Management obtains up-to-the- computerized A secure, web-based system. minute information on the operation ofprograms that help dealers work with One of the major shortcomings of the entire dealership. The reports can betheir customers by providing automated first-generation CRMs is that their use as broad or as detailed as the dealershipreminders, customer follow-ups, is limited to designated computers at requires, and can include dealer groupappointment scheduling and so on. While the dealership, usually on the dealer’s reports for single and multiple dealershipfirst-generation programs generally do local area network. Second-generation adequate job, they tend to be costly customer management systems, on theto purchase, set up and maintain. They other hand, are web-based applications. Security as good as a bank’s.can be fairly limited in scope and often As long as an individual has an approved Because the new CMSs are web-basedmay only be used on the dealership’s login name and password, he or she can applications, with all that dealer data outnetworked computers. These restrictions access the system from any computer that there on the Internet, security is a primehave left many dealers longing for a has Internet access. There is no network concern for CMS users. For this reason,system with greater capabilities and to setup and maintain. This greatly when a dealer’s password-protected CMShave even prevented some dealers from reduces the hardware, networking and website is created, it is secured by state-setting up a computerized CRM in the personnel costs and makes a CMS far of-the-art, 128-bit encryption – the samefirst place. more affordable. extreme security that banks use to protect their websites. For ease of transition, if theNot just a CRM … a CMS. “We had been considering one of the dealer already has a website, the customerThe new next-generation systems ordinary customer relations managers,” management system can usually behave arrived and are not your ordinary says James Hodge at Heritage Ford integrated with that site, still employingcustomer relations managers. Rather, in Corydon, IN. “But we’re a small the same ultra-secure protection.they are tightly integrated, easily dealership with limited facilities andmanaged, web-based systems that meld a limited budget. In order to make the Once set up, the dealer’s CMS site cancustomer relations, inventory, service system work, we would have had to be reached from practically anywhereand sales management into extremely install an entire computer network. You’re in the world by anyone with computercost-effective, user-friendly tools that talking about a lot of money. With one of access to the Internet. However, no onecan be used not just at the dealership, the new customer management systems, can enter the site unless they have anbut practically anywhere in the world. we can use the computers we have – even approved login name and password.There’s even a new name for them: our home computers – to access and use Even then, unless the individual is a highCustomer Management Systems. CMSs the system. The savings are enormous.” level manager or system administrator,take advantage of the latest advances each individual’s access is limited to pre-in computer and Internet technology to Here’s how the system works. approved privileges.offer: A complete, integrated system. Technical professionals work closely with In other words, a sales person cannot • Vastly improved ease of use. the individual dealer to adapt the system access the parts of the system that involves • Greater flexibility. to meet the company’s needs. Since these dealership management functions. He or • Adaptability to the needs of the systems are generally integrated with all she is limited to the messaging, email, individual dealership. major dealer management systems, this customer management and inventory • Integrated dealer database usually requires a minimum amount modules, and then only to those modules management. of customization. Dealers usually can for his/her dealership within a multi- • Access from any computer with choose from a number of modules, dealership auto group. Internet access. including customer reports and records, • Real-time sales and customer inventory management, dealer group The advantages tracking. reports for multiple dealer groups, of a web-based system. • Advanced customer contact, follow- business development center (BDC), and Web-based customer management up and scheduling procedures. an Internet leads program. systems offer a number of advantages • Excellent brand development over a customer relations system run on capabilities. The majority of customization is usually a local area network. • Internal messaging and email. performed in the reports modules, • Daily work plans. adapting them to each dealer’s culture • Lower cost. There is no need to • Fully scalable and customizable and processes. In fact, many function set up a costly network, because operation. as time-saving, automated versions of the system exists on the web and • Online technical support, 24/7/365. the reports the dealer uses on a day- not on local computers. There is no 16
  14. 14. Introducing the First Customer Management System& Management CRM is here. Real-time Management that can make a real difference in sales...and your business. costly network cabling to install, no the dealership’s databases. Perhaps capabilities across the Internet. expensive servers to set up and run. they need a customer phone number and address or the inventory of a • Automatic, no-cost upgrades. • 100 percent capture of showroom, certain make and model vehicle. On most of these next-generations phone and Internet trafÞc. Because With the next-generation customer systems, dealers need never be these systems are so tightly management systems, the person can concerned about their system being integrated, capturing and tracking log onto their dealer site and obtain out-of-date. Most of these systems customer information is easier, faster the information instantaneously, provide regular, no-cost upgrades and more reliable. Follow-through without having to phone the office, automatically on the system operations are completely automated, be transferred to the correct person software, making sure that they including phone, email and mailed and have that person look up the deliver the maximum performance material. The electronic leads portion information. If someone is working and reliability. of the systems allows management at home or traveling, that person can to automatically assign Internet- access the CMS and work at a virtual • Designed to boost achievement. acquired leads to the appropriate office away from the dealership. Any dealer knows what an industry sales persons. In fact, these leads can achievement award can mean for be directed to web-access phones the dealership. These systems have and handheld PCs, for even greater been designed specifically to help flexibility and faster response. dealers earn manufacturers’ awards such as Ford’s Blue Oval, Lincoln/ • EfÞcient data mining. Captured Mercury’s Premier Dealership Award customer information is one of or Chrysler’s Five Star Award. They the most valuable assets of these make it far easier to meet award- systems. Using this data, dealers winning customer service standards can profile customers and direct and maintain those standards year your marketing specifically to their after year. individual needs. It’s not only more effective, but it is a lot less expensive “We’ve always worked on the premise to target customers and prospects that the customer is king,” says Kurt in this manner. In short, a dealer Maletych, Vice President of Sales for Ken can generate a higher percentage of Grody Ford in Buena Park, CA. “Now sales with a far lower investment. we can really treat them like royalty! I’ve Marketing can be targeted by model gotten a lot of feedback from customers line, for fixed operations, for finance who tell me that they’ve never been department products, for after-market treated better or felt more comfortable at products and more. a dealership.” General Sales Manager Billy Worden, of Harry Hutton is a sales manager at Ruxer Many of these systems have been Bill Collins Ford in Louisville, KY, says, Ford Lincoln-Mercury in Jasper, IN. “I designed by auto dealers, for auto “We’ve been able to cut our marketing use our customer management system dealers, to provide ‘street-smart’ budget by more than 35 percent because all the time when I go to auctions,” he business management integrated with I can generate direct mail and email says. “I can check our inventory and our next-generation, web-based customer materials targeted specifically to the customer profiles to see what vehicles we relations. They are not only the most requirements of individual customers. If need, compared to what’s available at the technologically advanced, but also the a person is looking for a particular type auction. I can bid smarter and get a better most comprehensive and easy-to-use of SUV, I can refer to that specific vehicle turnover. And that means better use of my systems on the market. in my letter to him or her. It’s a far more time and better profits.” effective way to hook the customer’s With one of these customer management interest and get him or her back in our • E-mail and internal messaging systems, a dealer can go from the 19th showroom.” addresses for all users. Every century to the 21st century by leveraging individual designated as a customer the very latest technology. • Offsite access to onsite management system user is assigned information. There are countless an e-mail and an internal messaging Mark A. Strong is the Vice President and incidents where a dealer’s address, enabling group and COO of He can be management or sales personnel need individual internal communications, contacted at 800.996.1952, or by email at to access information from one of as well as full-featured e-mail june 2003 17
  15. 15. profit saving solution Thomas Lower II By Thomas Lower II Tool Reimbursement Programs: They Can Help Your Dealership The dollars that week. Since the dealership has to match Form W-2, and are exempt from the technicians spend 7.65 percent for FICA/Medicare, the withholding and payment of income and on tools and dealership will save $40 per month on employment taxes. equipment are this one employee. not taxable and should not be Tool reimbursement programs do moreincluded with payroll. If technicians are than help employers and employeesnot being paid for tool and equipment stop paying unnecessary payroll taxesexpenses separately from wages, then and payroll related costs, they provideyour dealership is losing profits, and hardworking technicians with an addedyour technicians are losing take-home employee benefit. The solution fallspay. Tool reimbursement programs help under one basic concept, to separatedealerships and dealership employees amounts paid to technicians for theirsave money, by properly identifying and tool and equipment expenses fromseparating, from wages, the amounts their wages. If employees are spendingthat technicians incur as an employee money on tools and equipment, andbusiness expense. You’re probably they are legally defined Form W-2asking, “How does this help my employees, both the dealership and the Choosing a plan provider.dealership or my employees?” technicians have a lot to gain by using a Operating a rate based Accountable tool reimbursement program. Plan is a way to increase companyUnder your current payroll method. profits and increase employee take-As an example, use a technician paid History and compliance home pay. Choosing the right serviceat $20 per hour, working 40 hours per of tool reimbursement programs. provider is the most important step inweek. He would be grossing ($20 X 40 The concept of reimbursing employees the entire process. Accountable Planhrs.) $800 each week, then $228 would for business expenses is not new; rules are detailed and it takes the mostbe taken out for taxes. employers have been reimbursing experienced plan providers to give you employees for mileage, business lunches, the most compliant program. CompetentUnder a tool hotels, etc., for many years. providers should bring dealerships yearsreimbursement program. of research and analysis on tool andUse the same technician paid $20 per The IRS decided that these employees, equipment expenditures. In additionhour, but allocate $3 per hour to be paid that bring their own tools and equipment to providing a quality Accountablefor his tool expenses and the remaining to the job, should be reimbursed for Plan, a good provider should offer$17 to be paid as wages. The $17 per their equipment through an Accountable dealers some type of guarantee, orhour wage check would still have all of Plan. All payments made through an indemnification and audit support in thethe taxes withheld, but the $3 per hour Accountable Plan are not subject to event of an audit. A good provider willpayment would not be taxable; thus the any payroll related taxes, state taxes also offer a knowledgeable Compliancetechnician would increase his take-home or federal income tax. Section 1.62- Department consisting of a CPA and taxpay, because he is not paying taxes 2(c)(4) indicates that amounts treated attorney that has experience in the Toolon the portion allocated for expense as paid under an Accountable Plan are Reimbursement Industry. The providerreimbursement. Based on the example excluded from the employee’s gross chosen to operate a dealership’s planabove, the technician’s weekly take- income, are not reported as wages or should be able to provide live references.home pay would increase to $605 per other compensation on the employee’s Whichever program a dealership decides 18
  16. 16. continuedto implement should be scrutinized by aCPA or tax attorney.Willard DeFilipps, CPA, is an expert in theautomotive industry. In his publication,(Dealer Tax Watch, September 2000Issue, p.12-13) Mr. DeFilipps challengesdealers to ask providers some of thefollowing questions:• In which category does the technicians’pay arrangement fall?• If the plan is intended to qualify as anAccountable Plan under Section 62(c)rules, are all three of the followingrequirements satisfied? - BusinessConnection - Substantiation - Return ofamounts in excess• Is the plan written and when was theplan last revised?• Are the written terms of thearrangement, lease or contract followedin practice?• How is the plan operating in comparisonwith the written description of how theprogram is intended to operate?• What kind of weekly time and actualtool usage records and/or reports are thetechnicians completing and submitting?• Has the plan provider modified itsplan to make any changes as a resultof the IRS Coordinated Issue Paper orany other IRS pronouncements or courtcases?• Has the dealer asked the serviceplan provider to agree to reimburse orotherwise indemnify the dealer for anypenalties, which the dealership may beassessed as a result of the failure of theplan to pass scrutiny by the IRS?Tool reimbursement summarized.Implementing a tool reimbursementprogram into your dealership will saveyour dealership and your employee’smoney. The IRS has looked at toolreimbursement programs and insiststhat any program must meet all of therequirements of the Accountable Plan.In deciding which plan provider touse, insist on a competent ComplianceDepartment that will fully answer allof your questions and the questions thatyour accountant or attorneys may have.Make sure that the provider you chooseguarantees their program. Take an honestlook at these programs, recognize thevast amount of benefits you and youremployees could realize, talk to yourCPA and have him talk to a plan provider.It will be worth the time invested.Thomas Lower II is the President ofPro-Check National. He can becontacted at 877.762.4325, or by email 2003 19